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Fire Authority urges residents to have their say

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Fire Authority urges residents to have their say

Residents in Herefordshire and Worcestershire are being urged to have their say on the way the Fire Service is set to run.

At a meeting held on Friday 25 June, Members of Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority formally approved the Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) 2011/12 for consultation.

The IRMP action plan for 2011/12 sets out a broad range of priorities for Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service and a 12-week consultation period is now open to gauge opinions on the seven key recommendations outlined in the document.

These include:

  1. A review during 2011/12 of the impact of the recent changes in Technical Fire Safety arrangements to ensure that the anticipated benefits are being fully realised.
  2. A review of the allocation of community safety resources to ensure the best fit of activities to risk. This will maximise our ability to reduce risk in our communities.
  3. Reducing our attendance at Automatic Fire Alarms (AFAs) through a review of our policies and procedures and the implementation of our findings.
  4. A review of our fire cover and response arrangements with a focus on:
    • The requirement for a third appliance at Hereford, Worcester and Redditch
    • The current crewing arrangements at Bromsgrove
    • The appropriate number of personnel on each watch at wholetime and day crewed stations
  5. Ensuring that our Property Strategy is fully aligned to our IRMP proposals including Recommendation No. 4 and other aspects of Service Delivery, such as the provision of effective operational training.
  6. We will consider our current operational training strategy and provision to identify any potential for improvement in both effectiveness and efficiency, and implement any appropriate changes.
  7. We will review our approach to environmental issues to ensure that we are maximising the potential partnership working in this area, reducing our energy usage and identifying further opportunities for cost efficiency.

Chief Fire Officer with Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, Mark Yates said: "The recommendations in the report follow a detailed evaluation of our current prevention, protection and response arrangements and take into account input from our District Commanders, District Community Safety Staff and our Firefighters in order to capture local knowledge and risk information.

"We always strive to give the highest level of service we possibly can with the resources available to us and we want to ensure any changes we make enhance the work and reputation of the organisation. It's important now that we get feedback from the community and we would urge everyone to take a look at these IRMP recommendations and to respond to our consultation questionnaire."

Brigadier Peter Jones CBE, who was elected Chair of the Fire Authority for a further 12 months at Friday's meeting, said: "These are only draft proposals at this stage and it's vital that we gauge the opinions of residents living within the two counties and incorporate these into the plan. The consultation is open to everyone until 20th September and all opinions will be fed back to the Authority before any final decisions are made."

The current Vice Chair of the Fire Authority, Stephen Clee, was also re-elected for a further year during Friday's meeting, while congratulations were passed to Simon Hawkins from Bromsgrove, who was named Firefighter of the Year 2010 at a national awards ceremony in London on 4 June.

The Equality Scheme – a commitment from the Fire Service to deliver equality and diversity for all employees and the communities it serves - was also approved and adopted at the meeting.